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A Personal Story of Insight, Acceptance – and Solitude

how to accept mental illness

Acceptance: it doesn’t come without a ton of personal examination and insight. And I don’t see how anyone can live peacefully with their emotional or mental circumstances without it. Our guest post writer, J.D., brings the point home with his story of insight, acceptance – and solitude…

I preferred a sort of emotional solitude and, once I accepted this fact, I was then completely free to be my true self.

Man, those guest post requests. I get ’em all the time, and 99% of them get turned away. But, every so often…

Jaron (J.D.) Vail dropped me a line asking if he could contribute to Chipur. J.D. is a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and refers to himself as a creative journalist. All well and good, but you’re about to read what he has to say because J.D. endures an emotional/mental disorder and is willing to share. I’ll set you up with his website at the end.

‘Nuff said. Let’s get into J.D.’s work…

For Me, Life With SPD Is a Choice

When we are young – at least for me, grown-ups and society instill in us the value of relationships and community. Making friends. Turning acquaintances into future friends. Love. But, why? Why this need for constant feedback and approval from others?

I knew there was something going on mentally after losing my mother in 2016. My father died 12 years before her. My oldest brother a year before that. And, my uncle – a second father really – four years before my mother passed in 2012.

These four people were my rock. My inspiration. The ones I went to with any problem and the first people I contacted for all my successes. They took care of me. Nurtured me. And, most of all, listened to me. Now, my circle is gone. Where do I go from here?

how to accept a mental illness

J.D. Vail

By the time my mother died, I had gotten married and a year later I had a daughter. That same year in 2017, I got so drunk one night that I contemplated suicide. I had everything planned. A large ceiling fan hangs in our living room. My plan was to hang myself with a belt but I passed out.

When I woke several hours later, I was scared out of my mind. How could I contemplate something so horrible? What would have happened to my daughter? My wife? I knew then, I needed help.

Behavioral talk therapy is where I discovered I had been suffering from depression and the isolation I was feeling was due to the trauma I experienced losing the people closest to me and the anxiety of not being able to trust anyone outside of my “circle”, that was now all dead.

I was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder (SPD). But, as I continued to see my therapist, I discovered that my current suburban existence, the friends and the seeking of gratitude from others that encompassed this stage in my life was a mask. In fact, without the masks, I was totally immune from praise or criticism of others.

I preferred a sort of emotional solitude and, once I accepted this fact, I was then completely free to be my true self. This meant that I had to reorganize my life and my relationships. What I have discovered so far about myself, my true self, is that the only relationships that matter are with the two people I am responsible for: my daughter and my wife.

I am responsible for my daughter’s emotional, physical and financial wellbeing, and my wife and I are partners in this journey. For that, I am grateful. Outside of these two relationships, everyone else are just outsiders looking in. Therefore, I ask nothing of the other individuals in this world and/or in my family and I hope they request nothing of me.

Because of my new found freedom, I am exceling at my career. I take risks that I wasn’t able to take before and I take ownership for every action I make and how I respond to issues put before me. I am my own master. The future is in my hands alone.

However, this has put a strain on my marriage and other relationships. I am so dedicated to my mental and emotional solitude that I have become emotionless to the rest of the world – even to the sufferings of those close to me. But, I would rather have total independence of thought and action than a variety of intimate relationships.

Where the future goes from here? I’m still figuring that out. What is a life without connection and emotions, other than what you can self-regulate? I don’t know. But, I do know this: this is the first time I can look myself in the mirror and be happy with who I am.

No, SPD is not a disease that needs to be cured. It is part of me. The sum of who I am. Therefore, I will learn to live with it and expect those close to me to live with it too.

The real. Me.

Thanks, J.D.

Insight and acceptance, which happened to manifest in chosen solitude for J.D. And the best part is, when he looks in the mirror he feels happy with who he is. Doesn’t get much better than that, right?

And now you know why J.D. is a guest post 1%’er.

Thank you, J.D…

Take the time to learn more about J.D. and his work.

And then there are those hundreds of Chipur titles.